Jul. 26, 2018
The assessment of agricultural and veterinary chemicals (agvet) has improved again, with the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) finalising 85 per cent of applications within statutory timeframe between April and June 2018.
Statistics released for the June quarter of 2018 confirm the authority’s improved performance, which has increased steadily from 58 per cent of assessments finalised on time in June 2017, to the new high of 85 per cent completed within timeframe in June 2018.
This quarter’s result is part of an overall positive trend for the APVMA, with on-time performance rising from 69 per cent in 2016–2017 to 73 per cent in 2017–18.
APVMA Chief Executive Officer, Dr Chris Parker, said the improvement reflected the sustained effort to address the application backlog and the dedication of APVMA staff to streamline application processing and management.
“We’ve made substantial improvement at the APVMA in the last 12 months and the efforts of our staff have resulted in the approval of more than 3 300 applications for chemical actives, products and permits in 2017–2018,” Dr Parker said.
“That’s hundreds of new products, and new uses for existing products, that will support Australia’s agricultural productivity, enhance animal health and deliver safe and effective consumer products.”
An independent review of APVMA operational performance conducted in 2017 identified multiple factors contributing to the delays in agvet chemical assessment, including a fluctuating workload and varying complexity of applications received by the regulator.
Work continues to implement the priority recommendations from the independent review that will further improve the management of work in progress, and streamline risk assessment and decision making.
Investment in the authority’s information and communication technology (ICT) is also planned, with $10.1 million provided by the Australian Government over three years to stabilise the ICT environment and deliver the APVMA digital strategy.
“The challenge now is to maintain the improved regulatory performance at the APVMA as we transition our people and systems, and implement the new business operating model,” Dr Parker said.
“The changes we’re making at the APVMA will deliver long-term benefits for the regulation of agricultural and veterinary chemicals in Australia.
“Maintaining the APVMA’s quality regulatory services for the benefit of Australia’s agricultural industries, our trade and the environment is vital, and we will not lose sight of this as we implement new technology and bed down the regulatory centre in Armidale.”
• In the June 2018 quarter, the APVMA:
• received 734 new applications for products, actives and permits
• commenced the assessment of 738 product, active and permit applications
• finalised 889 applications for products, actives and permits
• Timeframe performance for product, active and permit applications increased to 85 per cent, up from 79 per cent in the previous quarter, and 58 per cent in the first quarter of 2017–18
• Pesticide product applications at 77 per cent completed on time. With on-time assessment of major pesticide applications increasing to 47 per cent, up from 38 percent in the previous quarter
• Veterinary medicine product applications at 84 per cent completed on time. With on-time assessment of major veterinary medicine applications increasing to 74 per cent, up from 60 per cent in the previous quarter
• Active constituent applications at 95 per cent completed on time, up from 82 percent in the March quarter and 80 percent in the quarter prior to that
• Permit applications at 81 per cent, up from 65 per cent in the previous quarter